Sneaker NFTs are currently the hottest item in the NFT market. These digital shoes have an infinite variety of 3D effects that are difficult to achieve in the real world. And, having one shows that you are the only owner of these one-of-a-kind pair of kicks.
But, have you ever wondered how sneaker NFTs came into existence or who they are meant for? Is it really worth buying a pair or simply a marketing ploy? If you wish to know more, read on to know about the origin of sneaker NFTs, what factors contribute to their popularity, and where you can buy them.
What are sneaker NFTs?
Let’s take a step back and see what an NFT is before understanding sneaker NFTs. A non-fungible token or NFT is a virtual asset that does not exist in the physical world. It employs a unique identification number and metadata to identify the piece’s valid owner.
There are endless NFTs, including images, GIFs, videos and artworks. And, the fundamental rules for sneaker NFTs are the same as other NFTs. Owners of sneaker NFTs don’t actually have a pair of physical sneakers but possess digital avatars of the shoes in the virtual world.
Sneaker NFTs are customisable, as per a report by CBS News, and customers can purchase different pieces and colours to create their personalised version. One can also change the colour of the laces, soles, straps and shoe tongues. Recent research shows the immense popularity of these NFTs. According to research firm Strategy Analytics, the shoe NFT industry may reach USD 6.1 billion in 2022, and over USD 42 billion by 2026 globally.
Why are they expensive?
Why would anyone buy a sneaker NFT over the real one? When you can’t actually wear or touch the shoes physically, it is interesting to know why people are still paying over USD 10,000 for a single pair of these digital sneakers.
By now, we know that the NFT market as a whole is a lucrative but volatile one. Celebrities, businesses and people with money spend hundreds and thousands of dollars to receive a digital copy of an artwork, just like they do while buying expensive paintings and antiques.
Additionally, NFTs indefinitely preserve your rights to your digital asset, and you can sell them anytime. You can channelise your inner designer and customise your sneakers yourself, too. Through sneaker NFTs, you get to be a part of a larger online community and make a lot of money depending on the product you’re selling.
Moreover, NFT markets are extremely volatile, and you can find the most skyrocketing prices for these NFTs, which means you can get a good deal if the time is right. Nike and Adidas, for example, have already entered the sneaker NFT market, with some of their products costing over USD 10,000.
Where to buy sneaker NFTs?
Several companies are pushing out the digital version of their shoes on blockchain technology. There are numerous websites where you can purchase your pair of these digital sneakers.
Listed below are some of the sneaker NFTs that you can buy online.
Air Jordan 4 Retro White Oreo
The Air Jordan 4 Retro White Oreo is the perfect way to start your sneaker NFT collection. The shoe comes in white leather and upper meshes with hints of grey on its eyelets and midsole. On the tongue, you can find the classic Jumpman logo in bright red. This was released in July 2021.
New Balance 990v4 JJJJound Navy
This black-coloured New Balance 990v4 JJJJound Navy has a simple colour palette, with tonal navy mesh and suede on the upper portion. It has a black ENCAP sole as the base and two different lacing options, providing more variety.
Crocs Pollex Clog by Salehe Bembury Urchin
The Crocs Pollex Clog by Salehe Bembury Urchin has a light purple exoskeletal body. It features a fingerprint-like design on the concave ridges and has a few holes at the front. The shoes have fewer holes than the traditional Crocs clogs, but the overall design and the removable canvas offer the same features as the classic Crocs.
Jordan 1 Retro High OG Patent Bred
Blockchain users can purchase an original NFT for the Jordan 1 Retro High OG Patent Bred, one of the classic sneakers of all time, which was launched in December 2021. Its vintage appearance is completed with the iconic wings emblem on the collar and a red Air logo on the sole. It has trademark braided Nike Air tongue labels and red and black patent leather.
Nike Dunk Low Retro White Black
The white leather base of the Nike Dunk Low Retro White Black is accented with black leather swooshes and overlays. A white midsole and a black outsole round out the shoes’ overall appearance and feel, complemented by the iconic Nike branding on the nylon tongue. The classic piece was released in January 2021.
KAWS Sacai Nike Blazer Low Blue
One of the biggest and most vibrant collaborations between Nike and American contemporary artist KAWS is showcased in the KAWS Sacai Nike Blazer Low Blue. The shoes have Neptune blue leather upper, overlapping eyestays in multiple colours and two Nike swooshes. Additionally, it bears the KAWS XX emblems on the toe area. The dual-tone laces and doubled tongues on the sneakers complete its modern look. This colourful piece was launched in November 2021.
Puma MB.01 LaMelo Ball Rick and Morty
Puma MB.01 collaborated with LaMelo Ball’s beloved TV series, Rick and Morty. The sneakers have a mismatched neon two-tone appearance, with distinct colours on the left and right. The left one has a green slime colour scheme, while the right has neon red tones. Rick and Morty are depicted in the additional graphics on the tongues.
New Balance 550 Joe Freshgoods Conversations Amongst Us
Designer Joe Freshgoods and New Balance have come together to deliver the iconic New Balance 550 Joe Freshgoods Conversations Amongst Us. The shoes have a hairy suede and a light cream canvas upper with faded New Balance branding. The top body and sole of the shoe have a dual-tone palette, which enhances its overall presence.
New Balance 990v3 JJJJound Olive
New Balance and JJJJound have teamed up for these iconic shoes. With olive mesh and suede uppers, the New Balance 990v3 JJJound Olive offers one of the rarest colour combinations. The sneakers have a modest aesthetic. In contrast to the tonal green on the body, it has a black New Balance logo. The shoe has a silver reflective heel wrap at the sole area with JJJJound branding, adding more character to the shoe.
Nike SB Dunk Low Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Dunky
Launched way back in May 2020, the Nike SB Dunk Low Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Dunky is probably the most priced sneaker NFT on this list. It employs the best Nike Dunk Low designs and is inspired by the classic, colourful Ben & Jerry’s ice cream print packaging. The upper of the shoe has a cloudy blue colour, with simulated green meadow leather covering the overlays and tongues. It features a yellow swoosh that drips in a manner reminiscent of ice cream melting.
How to buy sneaker NFTs?
Purchasing sneaker NFTs is similar to purchasing blockchain-based digital artwork. You select the NFT you wish to buy and participate in the auction to win it. The procedure may seem simple, but it is not. However, there is nothing to worry about as here’s a quick rundown on getting sneaker NFTs and everything you need to do to get started.
Create a crypto wallet
You can’t participate in the crypto market if you don’t have a way to store your virtual currency. Since most NFT products use ETH for transactions, you need to create an Ethereum crypto wallet.
As stated previously, cryptocurrency is highly volatile. If you want to figure out how much money to invest, you should keep up with cryptocurrency trends and the latest news through various credible sources.
Choose your NFT marketplace
After creating a crypto account, choose an NFT marketplace. There are numerous sites to buy an NFT item or a collection of NFTs. As there are so many online retailers from where you can purchase an NFT piece, it appears like shopping in an e-commerce store.
After choosing your preferred NFT marketplace, the next step is to link your cryptocurrency wallet to it.
Connect your wallet to the marketplace
Generally, there are two types of crypto wallets: hosted wallets (hosted on a website or app) and self-custody wallets (self-contained and not relying on a third party). You can select between the two options depending on your preferences.
Now, you must download a wallet app and create an account to connect your wallet to the marketplace. You’ll receive a 12-digit private key after creating your account, which can be used to connect your wallet to the marketplace.
Start the bid for the sneaker NFT you want
Once you’ve completed the above steps, you can choose the sneaker NFT you want. Many websites provide this service, but you must carefully select those that are not only authentic but also have an easy-to-use interface and are ideally, less expensive. After you’ve decided on a platform, pick your sneaker NFT and begin bidding.
Pay the gas fee
You also need to pay some extra fees, known as ‘gas fees’. Because purchasing NFTs is similar to buying artwork at an auction, you must outbid other potential purchasers. You have to pay the piece’s base price plus tips and transactional costs. As a result, the actual price of the NFT rises, and this is what is meant by gas fees.
On a blockchain network, a percentage of the gas fees is paid to crypto miners. This step is critical if you wish to buy any NFT on the internet because a mediator (crypto miner) is required to complete a crypto transaction.
(Main and featured image credit: Peri Stojnic/Unsplash)